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Knitting for Plus Sizes

Jul 28, 2009

Welcome back to Inside Knitscene!

Besides writing about Knitscene, I’ll be blogging about plus-size knitting and the patterns from our magazines. We’ll talk about altering patterns, upsizing classics (remember the Central Park Hoodie?), and tutorials on garment construction and techniques.

Perhaps the best part of my new venture on Knitting Daily is that I’ll be knitting designs from issues of the magazine. I have access to the patterns in each issue months before you see them in print, and in that window I’ll be working up selected sweaters in my own size or larger. We’ll get to discuss design elements and how they work, or don’t work, for curvy women. We’ll discuss gauge, drape, patterning, shaping, ease, and how to choose a size.

From time to time I’ll do Galleries, where other plus-sized women try on the sweaters. Interweave Knits and Knitscene offer wonderful designs for women of all sizes, and on this blog we’ll be able to match body diversity with those designs. Everyone is welcome here.

I’ll be getting pretty personal with you when it comes to talking size and shape. So let’s get it all out in the open. I’m a size 16 with a 41" bust. I usually knit sweaters with 39-44" bust circumference, depending on desired ease. I’m 5'5". I’ve been every size from a 12 to 22 in my adult life, and I’ve knitted many, many sweaters in that time.

Up first, I’ll be talking about a sweater from the Fall issue of Knitscene. It may be July, ladies, but I’m thinking fall. When you’re knitting a 44" pullover, it’s always good to start a little early.

A Quick Sweater for all Sizes

For the fall issue of Knitscene, I designed a super-fast sweater with a chunky tape yarn. The Eyelet Corset Pullover is really simple—this yarn has so much character, there was no reason to complicate the look with lots of details. The sole interest is the column of yarnovers at the bodice. Because the yarnovers, worked top-down, are increases, they create the sweeping diagonal lines you see running from neck to armhole. Compensating decreases are worked at the armholes, so there is no change in stitch count. Centrally-placed decreases shape the waist, bringing those sweeping lines back to center. This change in direction creates natural cups for the bust, making this a great garment for busty women.

Sized to 50 1/2" bust, I think this garment will work well for many women. The plain stockinette body allows for easily-customized shaping, and I made some tweaks to the pattern to account for plus sizes.

I’ve been working on an Eyelet Corset Pullover for myself—more to come real soon!

Let’s knit for us,



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on Jul 8, 2011 11:24 AM

I've been working on the Eyelet Corset Pullover from Knitscene Fall 2009 , and wanted to talk about

KathyB@82 wrote
on Oct 24, 2010 10:57 AM

I wanted to knit the berkshire dolman sweater from the fall 2009 special issue and will need  to enlarge it.  Any suggestions other than adding 8 or 10 stitches to the front and back.  

Lee wrote
on Mar 23, 2010 8:51 AM

I've always appreciated Interweave's commitment to including larger sizes in most if not all of your patterns.  I was very happy you upsized the CPH. The ability to knit sweaters was my motivation for learning to knit, and your magazines give me plenty of great options to choose from.  You rock!

sarawutzke wrote
on Aug 13, 2009 5:03 AM

I'm so excited to find your blog! Pluz sizes that are stylish? YAY!!! I love, love, love boat neck sweaters on me, I'll make this one by november and post picture to you. I'm so excited!

LisaShroyer wrote
on Jul 30, 2009 12:56 PM

The pattern for the Eyelet Corset Pullover is available in the Fall 2009 issue of Knitscene, available at yarn shops, book stores, and online at now.

on Jul 30, 2009 9:54 AM

i'm very excited about both this blog and this particular sweater

hooray for fat girls!

is this pattern currently available, or should we wait til the blog postings are done?

LisaShroyer wrote
on Jul 29, 2009 7:27 AM

Yikes, chunky yarn, right? I'm going to talk about the yarn and gauge next time. You're right, the construction of this yarn makes it behave quite differently than a bulky wool-roving-style yarn would. Big gauges don't have to be automatically black-listed for us--there's so much more to a yarn than its classified weight.

And once my version of the sweater is finished, you'll get to see the design on a plus-sized model--me :)

Dallison wrote
on Jul 29, 2009 6:45 AM

It is so sad that this is shown on a model who is so clearly NOT plus sized. Please more real sized women.

SaraJ wrote
on Jul 29, 2009 2:11 AM

Me, Boat necks as I think this is?  aren't great for me, they slide up to my neck, it's something about my shoulders so they don't stay in place, and then there's the bra strap thing anyway (yeah, there's fashion tape).

BUT!  I could knit more in the nect and turn it inot a slight V, or . . . I dunno?

At first I cringed when I heard Chunky mentioned in the yarn, but then I read tape yarn, and while it's still chunky, it's not as "chunky" as a full 3-d "round" yarn, right?  Cause that'd look real good on me as a top, NOT!  Lol . . . .

I think my bust is 52" to 53" . . . It's been awhile since I've measured and weight has changed a bit, time to re-measure.

But this top looks easy enough for even me, someone who's only done scarves, one fingerless glove, and a few other things, to do (even if my size is a bit above pattern specs, it's not THAT much . . . . . .


mauserati wrote
on Jul 28, 2009 5:56 PM

I love when shaping is incorporated as a style element!  It's "cool", yes, but more, it's chic & elevates the visual impact of a "beginner" project.  So satisfying.  Thanks loads; I can't wait.

LisaShroyer wrote
on Jul 28, 2009 1:31 PM

Thank you, Karen! I'm a huge fan of the V-neck, myself. I once bought the same V-neck shirt in 8 colors :)

pmags wrote
on Jul 28, 2009 10:49 AM

Lisa, thank you so much for your plus-size interests!  I'm, um, Rubinesque myself, with about a 50" bust at about a size 22 (or so).  

It's hard to find patterns sized for us, let alone those that would actually look good!  Where are the patterns with keyhole or square necklines?  Who thought jewel or crew necklines look good on larger women (especially when we're no longer 20)?  Aargh.

I can't wait to see what's in store later.  Thanks again for your topic!!!

-- Karen

Callaway, VA